The premise of the exhibition was that by giving an artist an object to inspire the creation of a new work within three days, their processes would be revealed. I think the short timeframe meant the work was delivered without time to fully analyse the response and therefore didn't allow time for too much self-censorship.
My partner Jo Roberts was given a jar of antique buttons as her object and responded in collage to phrases she'd heard from older generations like "button that lip".
And also the phrase "what am I going to do with you? Cut off your head and sew on a button?"
While working on these collages she spoke about thinking of how women returned to domestic duties after WWII, when they'd assisted in the war effort by taking on the roles vacated by men fighting overseas.
Greg Pritchard, who's just finished his role as Western Riverina Arts Development Officer, was given a tablecloth with Babushka dolls as his object. This was cut-up and displayed on the walls and also used in an animation projected within his allocated space.
This video featured a Russian folk music soundtrack and was quite comical.
Narrandera Argus photographer Trent Light was given a box of sticks as his object and I recall a 'WTF?' look on his face when he first opened it.
He explained to me that he'd quickly settled on the idea of suspending the sticks and used a boy his mum babysat as a model for this image. The look on the kid's face was his reaction when he saw this installation in the studio and I think it works to put the viewer into the position of this child and share their sense of wonder.
Elizabeth Gay Campbell says in the exhibition catalogue that she danced with her object, a piece of 1970's aqua fabric, and settled on expressing this desire.
"Any who have been imprisoned in any way, be it spiritual, physical, addiction, depression or mental illness will have experienced that emotion as the bars have been taken away and chains released."
Emma Piltz received a tub of red house paint and wrote that with:
"So much beauty all around us, we don't always need to purchase it from a store, nature's gifts are everywhere..."
Isobel Maccallum picked the biggest object on the table and found the box was full of sawdust.
She describes the "delicious hit of forest" which led her to play with texture and form, creating "tiny frozen landscapes".
Julie Thompson-Briggs received an object I was relieved not to get, a book on ballet dancing.
Her three poems each had different tones, one quite brutal but the last is shown below and it was a lighter note to end on.
Kerri Weymouth was a bit dismissive of her work when I met her, saying she thought she'd invested little effort by working with materials she had at hand.
Her object was a champagne coloured map, which complemented an antique dress and became a skirt on a mannequin surrounded by other items of a similar era.
I didn't get to ask her about how she acquired these but Jo told me she noticed that older people walking past the window in which this was displayed would see these and their faces would soften, as if entering a reverie of memories. So it was a great drawcard for encouraging people into the gallery.
The Art Misadventure exhibition was a great experience. I'm grateful for the opportunity to share my work but also for being able to meet other local artists. The response was really good too.